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Gun Crimes in NJ: Understanding the Law and Your Legal Options

May 24, 2023

Gun Crimes in NJ: Understanding the Law and Your Legal Options

Gun crimes are a serious matter in the state of New Jersey, with stringent laws in place to regulate firearm possession, use, and trafficking. It is essential to have a clear understanding of these laws and the potential legal consequences associated with gun-related offenses. This article aims to provide valuable insights into the gun laws of New Jersey and the available legal options for individuals facing gun crime charges.

Understanding New Jersey’s Gun Laws:

New Jersey has some of the strictest gun control laws in the United States, designed to prioritize public safety. It is crucial to be familiar with the following key provisions:

  • Firearms Purchasing Process: In New Jersey, individuals must obtain a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card (FPIC) to purchase a firearm legally. The application process includes a background check and a mental health evaluation by the local police department.
  • Firearm Permits: To legally possess a rifle or a shotgun in New Jersey, you must obtain a Firearm Purchaser Identification (FID) card or a Permit to Purchase a Handgun (PPH) from your local police department. These identification cards are issued after a background investigation is conducted. 
  • Assault Weapons and High-Capacity Magazines: New Jersey has banned the possession and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Certain firearms with specific characteristics, such as adjustable stocks, flash suppressors, detachable magazines, and folding stocks, are considered assault weapons.
  • Carrying Firearms: The state follows a “may issue” policy for concealed carry permits. This means that individuals must demonstrate a justifiable need to carry a concealed firearm, and the decision ultimately rests with local authorities. Except in certain circumstances outlined by law, open carry is generally not permitted.
  • Prohibited Persons: Certain individuals are prohibited from owning firearms in New Jersey, including convicted felons, individuals with mental health disorders, and those subject to restraining orders or domestic violence convictions.

Common Gun Crimes and Penalties:

There are several types of guns and firearms offenses in New Jersey, including:

1. Unlawful Possession of a Firearm:

This crime occurs when a person possesses a gun without a valid permit, license, or registration. Includes carrying a firearm in certain prohibited places, such as schools and government buildings. This is a third-degree crime, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

2. Possession of a Prohibited Weapon: 

This offense involves the possession of a weapon that is illegal in the state, such as a sawed-off shotgun, machine gun, or silencer. This is a fourth-degree crime, punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

3. Illegal Sale or Transfer of Firearms:

This crime involves the sale, transfer, or distribution of a firearm to someone who is not legally allowed to possess it, such as a convicted felon, someone with a history of domestic violence, someone with a history of restraining orders, or someone with a mental illness. This is a second-degree crime, punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.

4. Possession of a Firearm for an Unlawful Purpose: 

This offense involves possessing a firearm with the intention to use it in a criminal act, such as robbery or assault. It constitutes a separate offense that carries severe penalties. This is a second-degree crime, punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.

Legal Options:

Some legal options that may be available to you include:

  • Challenging the legality of the search and seizure: If the evidence against you was obtained through an illegal search or seizure, it may be possible to have it suppressed, potentially leading to a dismissal of charges.
  • Contesting the Validity of Charges: Experienced attorneys can analyze the facts of your case to identify any legal or procedural errors that may lead to reduced charges or case dismissal.
  • Asserting self-defense: If you used a firearm in self-defense or defense of others, your attorney may be able to argue that your actions were justified.
  • Negotiating plea agreements: In some cases, it may be beneficial to negotiate a plea agreement, which can result in reduced charges or penalties.
  • Presenting alternative explanations: Your defense attorney can help identify and present alternative explanations for your actions, casting doubt on the prosecution’s case.

If you have been charged with a gun crime in New Jersey, you have legal options. The first step is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who can review your case and develop a defense strategy. Your attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce the charges or seek a plea bargain. If necessary, your attorney can take your case to trial and defend you in court.

Contact The Law Offices of Michele Finizio Today For a Free Consultation About Your Gun Crime Defense

The Law Offices of Michele Finizio are here to protect your rights and fight for your freedom. At our firm, we understand the gravity of criminal charges, especially when it comes to gun crimes. Our team of dedicated attorneys possess in-depth knowledge of New Jersey’s firearm laws and have a proven track record of successfully handling a wide range of cases. We are well-versed in the nuances of the law and will leave no stone unturned in building a strong defense strategy tailored to your unique circumstances.

What sets us apart is our personalized approach. We take the time to listen to your side of the story, ensuring that we have a comprehensive understanding of your case. From there, we will guide you through the legal process, providing clear and transparent communication every step of the way. Our goal is not just to defend you in court but also to offer support and reassurance during what may be a challenging time.

With The Law Offices of Michele Finizio by your side, you gain access to a team of highly skilled professionals who are passionate about securing the best possible outcome for you. Whether you are facing charges related to unlawful possession of a firearm, possession for an unlawful purpose, or any other gun crime, we have the expertise to navigate the complexities of the legal system.

Don’t let a gun crime charge define your future. Put your trust in a law firm that prioritizes your best interests. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward protecting your rights and securing your freedom.

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